Forty years ago this month, Walt Disney’s corporate heirs formally announced plans to begin work on EPCOT Center, a project that would fundamentally alter not only Walt Disney World, but also the Disney Company itself and the entire theme park industry. Yet it fell short of Walt’s original dream—changing the world, according to Realityland author David Koenig.
“EPCOT Center transformed how Disney and its competitors would design, build, locate, staff, market and even ticket theme parks,” said Koenig. “The company learned what new things it could pull off, what it couldn’t, and what it wouldn’t—in particular, Walt’s futuristic City of Tomorrow.”
Originally published in hardcover in 2007, Realityland examines the entire Florida Project, from Walt’s scribbling plans on napkins for a utopian city, through his successors’ attempts to bring his dream to life—all the while battling thieving contractors, mutinous executives, unscrupulous corporate raiders, uncontrollable economic forces, and public relations nightmares.
Based on a decade of research and interviews with 100 Disney insiders, Realityland also reveals what it’s like to work for The Mouse, what lies in the Magic Kingdom’s subterranean tunnels, and how—despite extraordinary efforts to control every aspect of “the show”—everything doesn’t always go according to the script.
Available at retailers nationwide on June 2, 2014, the 334-page book from Bonaventure Press features two dozen illustrations and retails for $17.95 in paperback and $9.95 in Kindle or EPUB electronic formats. Koenig’s four other books include 1994’s Mouse Tales: A Behind-the-Ears Look at Disneyland, the genre’s top-selling title.